Schedule for CS 4001 HP: Computing, Society, & Professionalism

Readings are subject to change. Check the online syllabus before reading.
Date Topic Readings Assignment
8/21 Welcome & Overview    
8/23 Case Study: Therac-25 Optional reading:  
8/28 Do Artifacts Have Politics?
  • "Do Artifacts Have Politics?" by Langdon Winner (electronic reserve)
8/30 Utilitarianism Quinn 2.1-2.3, 2.7-2.8  
9/4 Deontology & Social Contract Theory Quinn 2.6, 2.9 Reflection on the politics of a technological artifact
9/6 Stakeholder Analysis & Virtue Ethics Please come to class with a short quote from one of the readings that you find interesting.
9/11 Freedom of Speech & Networked Communications Quinn 3.2, 3.5-3.8
Skim the rest of the chapter
Applying Ethical Frameworks to a Dilemma
9/13 Professional Ethics  
9/18 Privacy
  • Quinn Chapter 5, Chapter 6 through 6.5, 6.7
Analysis of New ACM Code
9/20 Privacy and the Government  
9/25 Term Paper Proposals   Term Paper Proposals
Come to class prepared to tell everyone about your term paper topic.
9/27 Intellectual Property Quinn Chapter 4, through end of 4.6  
10/2 Software as Intellectual Property Quinn Chapter 4, continued (4.7-end) Group presentation proposals
10/4 Computer Reliability & Software Warranties Quinn Chapter 8.1-8.4, 8.7-8.8  
10/9 Fall break (no class)    
10/11 Midterm Review    
10/16 Midterm    
10/18 The Patriot Act
  • Quinn 6.6
  • Wikipedia Articles (skim, except where otherwise noted):
    10/23 The NSA and Edward Snowden Add the name of a person involved in these events to the class discussion on Canvas. Pick someone no one else has chosen yet. Take notes on what is said about them as you watch the Frontline documentary, and supplement that by doing some research online (Wikipedia is adequate in most cases). Come to class prepared to tell the class:
    • Who is this person? What is their background and what is their job?
    • What role did they play in these events? Tell their story.
    • What important choices did they make?
    • What happened to them as a result?
    • How would you evaluate their choices?
    Relevant people include NSA employees, politicians, lawyers, journalists, etc. This counts towards your class participation grade.
    10/25 Group Presentations I: Filter Bubbles; Deep Fakes Optional:  
    10/30 Group Presentations II: Net Neutrality; Voting Term Paper Outline
    11/1 Group Presentations III: Automation of Labor; Face Recognition  
    11/6 Visual Argument
    (Guest lecturer)
    Visual & Statistical Thinking: Displays of Evidence for Decision Making by Tufte  
    11/8 Work and Wealth
    (Guest lecturer)
    11/13 Term Paper Discussion Come to class prepared to talk about your term paper Term Papers
    11/15 Group Presentations IV: International Intellectual Property; Privacy and DNA  
    11/20, 11/22 No class--Happy Thanksgiving!    
    11/27 Two topics: Ariely & Simulation
    • Chapter "The Context of our Character, Part 1: Why We Are Dishonest, and What We Can Do About It" from "Predictably Irrational" by Dan Ariely (electronic reserve)
    • Seductions of Sim by Paul Starr
    • Quinn 8.6
    11/30 Should you believe Wikipedia?
    • "Should you believe Wikipedia?" draft chapter by Amy Bruckman (handout)
    12/5 Final Exam Review    

    Readings and assignments are subject to change.